Two hundred knives were collected and surrendered in Hertsmere as part of a week of action for Operation Sceptre, a national knife crime initiative (16-20 May).
Unwanted knives were surrendered at knife bins at thirteen locations across Hertsmere at events held by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
During the evenings the teams also conducted knife sweeps in parks across the borough, looking for discarded or secreted knives. The sweeps proved to be negative.
Officers also attended a three-day Choices and Consequences event (opens in a new window) held at Summerswood Primary School which helped young people understand how to make better life choices and not engage with criminality, including knife crime, and bought together their parents and local professionals to support them in educating and safeguarding children.
During the week the volunteer Police Cadets, with the help of undercover officers, undertook a test purchasing operation to attempt to purchase bladed items from shops in the borough. Ten stores were visited, of which seven sold restricted items to children.
Local officers also joined young people at a football tournament at Watford FC’s Training Ground in London Colney on Saturday (21 May). Organised by the specialist Youth Violent Crime PCSOs, the event gave officers the opportunity to engage with young people, break down barriers and educate them of the dangers of carrying knives.
Safer Neighbourhood Inspector for Hertsmere, Rachael Robertson said: “Whilst we are always working to tackle knife related crime, Operation Sceptre provides us with the opportunity to carry out a focussed week of activity. The teams have been really busy throughout the week, meeting with the public and young people in the borough to raise awareness of knife crime and remove knives from circulation.
“It is disappointing that some businesses were found to be selling knives to our underage cadets during the test purchase operation. But this will provide us with an opportunity to work with our colleagues in Trading Standards to revisit those shops and remind them that selling certain knives to anyone under 18 is illegal.”
If you are concerned or have information about someone carrying knives or are aware of anyone involved in knife crime you can report this by calling the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 101.